#33 (8/24/20) "How Were Our First Days of Distance Learning?" Laurie & Matt break down their first couple days of the school year, albeit remotely, with this episode's essential question, "How Were Our First Days of Distance Learning?"
Laurie & Matt are teaching from their classrooms, which has a certain dystopian energy as they walk across a campus eerily devoid of student energy. They share their frustrations (limited but growing comfort with Zoom), their triumphs (recapturing the joy of a purpose-filled day), and their questions (how do we connect one-on-one? how are other districts handling Zoom breakout rooms?).
#34 (8/31/20) "Are We Stuck With Distance Learning?" Laurie & Matt hop on a Zoom meeting with Matt Rhoads, Ed.D, author and educator, for this episode's discussion concerning educational technology (edtech), distance learning, and the future of education. While Laurie & Matt show their age, and their fear that this may be the moment the robots seize control, Matt Rhoads helps massage their anxieties away as they question, "Are We Stuck with Distance Learning?"
The conversation centers around Matt Rhoads' book, Navigating the Toggled Term: Preparing Secondary Educators for Navigating Fall 2020 and Beyond, and how the new reality of education demands that school districts and educators prepare themselves to be ready to move seamlessly between distance, blended, and in-person settings. While there has been an explosion of educational technology in the past decade, the pandemic accelerated the need for everyone to get on board. As veteran teachers, Laurie & Matt admit that adoption of certain technologies could be delayed by those less willing prior to the pandemic forcing school closures, but those days are gone.
Matt Rhoads, however, brings a calm hand and a reassuring message to the conversation, acknowledging that less is more when it comes to technology, and time away from the screen is important to maintain balance.
To connect with Matt Rhoads, Ed.D.:
#35 (9/3/20) Special Episode: The MOST Important Teenager Habit Laurie & Matt address the one habit that makes the greatest impact on teens, and not just from a school outcomes perspective, but from a whole person, emotional, psychological, and relationship perspective. After years of being asked to do work, by teachers and parents, teens have developed a habitual response to that request. At that moment, an unconscious series of moves kicks in, and their lives are either improved or made more complicated. Laurie & Matt address the consequences of their habitual response, how everyone in the teen's universe is affected by their habit, and they offer a few suggestions for how to condition a response that makes life better for everyone.
#36 (9/7/20) "Why Are Teenage Boys So Challenging?" Laurie & Matt reach out to the TSW Community and find that they're not alone on the roller coaster ride called, "Why Are Teenage Boys So Challenging?" Apparently, it's not a ride anyone gets in line for, but somehow most parents find themselves on at some point during the amusement park of life. Except, of course, for those few friends that have perfect children and love to let you know while you're suspended upside down about to lose your lunch. Maybe a little splatter will get on their new white shoes.
Part therapy session, part search for answers, Laurie & Matt share the struggles they've experienced along with some of those from their listeners. We learn from those that successfully made it through the ride that there is an end, and that equilibrium is recaptured. In fact, there's a ride you'll jointly, and voluntarily go on later called, "Let's Look Back and Laugh!" The line is long, but you don't care because everyone is happy to be there.
#37 (9/14/20) "What is the Soul of a Teacher?" Laurie & Matt realize that their mission as educators and podcasters is evolving, and that it includes answering the question, "What is the Soul of a Teacher?"
Everywhere they look in the teacherverse they see articles like, "5 Ways to Use Google Classroom," or "How to Build Community Through Zoom," and they're concerned that these might be signs that the robots are poised for a takeover. Their new mission as they see it is to capture the stories of real, human teachers that have been advancing our species since the dawn of time. Like researchers heading into the field to record folk music or disappearing languages, Laurie & Matt are in search of first hand accounts of those human qualities that reside in the soul of those that have dedicated themselves to helping others reach their potential.
If you have a story to share and would like to be a guest on their show, reach out to Laurie & Matt through social media or by email.
#38 (9/17/20) Commonplace Episode: Friedrich Nietszche Laurie & Matt go back to a format they haven't used in a while, the commonplace episode, where they pull a quote from a book and discuss its implications on the world of teaching and parenting teens. Matt came across this quote while reading How to Live by Sarah Bakewell, but the quote is from Friedrich Nietszche's book Human All Too Human. Here it is:
"Among the small but endlessly abundant and therefore very effective things that science ought to heed more than the great, rare things, is goodwill. I mean those expressions of a friendly disposition in interactions, that smile of the eye, those handclasps, the ease which usually envelops nearly all human actions. Every teacher, every official brings this ingredient to what he considers his duty. It is the continual manifestation of our humanity, its rays of light, so to speak, in which everything grows...Good nature, friendliness, and courtesy of heart...have made much greater contributions to culture than those much more famous expressions of this drive, called pity, charity, and self-sacrifice."
#39 (9/21/20) Heart & Soul Interview: Steven "Etienne" Langlois Laurie & Matt kick off their Heart & Soul of a Teacher Tour by interviewing someone that knows a few things about touring, and teaching. An interview that came together quickly and out of nowhere, Laurie & Matt went into the interview having never heard of their guest, and left it claiming him as a new best friend and wanting to travel to Canada for some socially distanced hang time.
Steven "Etienne" Langlois (note that the "E" should have a little forward accent on it, but Matt is clueless how to accomplish that) has been rocking concert halls and classrooms for nearly three decades. What started as a last minute college project, and later morphed into an anonymous way to help his students learn French, eventually became the phenomenon that is Etienne. Those early songs turned into albums and concerts, worldwide tours, a documentary, Justin Bieber singing one of his songs before 85 million people on a popular French TV show, and now a book, Rock Your Class. Laurie & Matt talk to Etienne about the book and what it means to "rock your class," balancing life on stage with life in the classroom, why he still teaches even though he doesn't need to, and what quality he believes resides in the heart and soul of a teacher. Matt even embarrasses himself by auditioning to be his opening act because he took two years of French in high school.
To connect with Steven "Etienne" Langlois:
"The Accidental Rockstar" documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FasnKxrvajc
YouTube (Etienne): https://www.youtube.com/user/RoggieV
YouTube (RYC): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDSoRJUDoz-PWkfs_au9O2A
The Justin Bieber video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6hKSl8FgBU
#40 (9/28/20) Heart & Soul Interview: Ed Campos Jr. Laurie & Matt continue their journey into the heart and soul of a teacher, this time interviewing edtech guru Ed Campos Jr. Laurie and Eddie crossed paths at a local edtech conference five years ago, and they've been friends ever since.
A product of a rural, small, Mexican community, Ed shares how his path took him from Earlimart (CA), to UCLA, to Silicon Valley, and back to California's Central Valley to teach. He opens up about anxiety and using mindfulness in the classroom, a childhood teacher that changed his life, and how he learns by doodling. Laurie & Matt end the show by asking their Final Five questions, including that one quality he believes that lives in the souls of all good teachers. Eddie's answer surprises them both, in a good way. Meditation, civil discourse, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are also discussed.
To connect with Ed: